One of the most important things that needs to be done before deciding on what type of exercise program to do or hiring a personal trainer is defining your goals. Without a clear idea or assessment of what your goals are or might be, you and your personal trainer are searching for something very specific in a very big and completely dark closet. You may think you have found what you are looking for (and get very excited that you have found it!) until you turn on the light in the closet and find that it is not what you thought it was.
Ask yourself a few questions and think about what you want to accomplish from personal training:
- How can a personal trainer help me?
- What is it that am I trying to accomplish? What is it exactly that I want? Do I want to increase strength and lose weight at the same time? Do I just want to lose weight….or just body fat?
- Am I an athlete that needs specific personal training for my sport? Do I need to get stronger and faster…or do I just need more flexibility? Do I need to work out for 1 hours a day or 3 hours a day…1 day a week orÂ 5 days a week.. or every day in order to accomplish my goals?
- Do I need to be flipping tires or trying to crush them with a sledge hammer? Or do I just like that kind of stuff? How is it going to help me improve my life?
- Am I only exercising because someone told me I need to (a doctor, friend, spouse)?
- Or do I just want to look good…or great? Do I want to be able to go to the pool or to the beach and not be embarrassed about taking off my shirt or getting into my bathing suit?
What exactly do I want?
These are just a few examples of how to go through the thought process of defining your goals so that your personal trainer can help you accomplish them and prescribe a good personal training program for you. I may not have even mentioned anything that even resembles your goals. It is your job, and the job of your personal trainer, to understand what your goals are so that appropriate personal training methods and designs can be prescribed and employed.
Then choose a personal training organization with personal trainers that can help you accomplish these goals. Ask them about their personal training background. What is their educational background, their level of personal training certification, their philosophy on personal training? How long have they been in the industry? Find out who the person is that you have chosen to put your most valuable asset with (your own body!) Ask them about their personal training successes, and also ask them if they have had any failures. Ask them why you should choose them to guide you on your journey. Are they the right personal trainer for you?
Not having personal training goals and starting a personal training program is like getting in your car and driving without a destination!
Define your personal training goals today reap the rewards.
Paul Sklar CSCS
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